Croatian Hospitality, Migrants Share their Experience

Total Croatia News

Article from Vecernji list

Večernji list is one of the few Croatian media that published an interview with migrants coming into the country.

Original article was written by Hassan Haidar Diab, published on September 27th 2015, and you can read it HERE. We bring you the English translation.

Croatia was the first country in which we started getting things for free, everyone else was trying to profit from us

From the very start of the migrant crisis, I spoke to many migrants and refugees and all of those who passed through Croatia say that it is the only country in which everything they recieved was free, including transport.

Acts of kindness by citizens

As soon as we stepped on Croatian soil, we stopped paying. Everywhere we went, we were greeted by people who were handing us food, water, clothes and shoes. They were offering their own houses so that we can rest and get some sleep. I couldn’t believe we would find such hospitality after so much suffering and theft we encountered along the way – said Jihad from Syria who spent about 4000 EUR by the time he reached Croatia.

In Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia we had to pay for everything, from transport to water.They also had special prices for us migrants and they were double what locals were paying – Jihad says. Ahmed, how came from Syria with his wife and three children says he’s not sure he would have continued his journey had he not reached Croatia.

I only have 400 euro left from 5000 I took when I left. I spent everything during our trip from Turkey to Serbia. Everything was given to us in Croatia for free. Here, people even give us their cell phones so that we can call our families in Syria – Ahmed commented in disbelief as we accompanied him to the Harmica border crossing where the bus was waiting to take him and his family to Slovenia. Syrians and Iraqis we met in Belgrade parks told us that, along with transfers with dinghies they spent most o their money in Serbia where they had to pay prices that were significantly higher than usual. 

Even policemen were making money

Everything near the central Belgrade train station came to life, prices doubled overnight. Fast food places and taxi drivers were busier than ever before, improvised hotels started opening overnight. Macedonians were doing exactly the same. Their policemen were charging us for free buses, even to charge our mobile phones. In order to describe what it was like in Macedonia and Serbia, one Syrian said: – In Macedonia and Serbia we were tree trunks and they were the saw. With its every movement the saw cuts into the tree trunk and with every cut they were taking away some of our money.


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